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cal instruments and colors has been expended. A balance remains unexpended of the appropriations for repair of arms and for removing military property from Portland to Bangor, but it will be wanted the ensuing year. Of the appropriation for equipping new companies of Artillery, the sum of five hundred and thirty four dollars has been expended, leaving four hundred and sixty six dollars, which will be sufficient to equip two new companies now organized in the towns of Orland and Limerick, and which have not been armed.
Pursuant to a Resolve of the Legislature passed March 2, 1839, I have caused the State's gun house in Castine, together with the lot on which it stood, to be sold at public auction, and the net proceeds thereof has been paid into the Treasury.
Accounts of all the expenditures beforementioned, have been audited and settled by the Governor and Council. The following appropriations for military purposes are deemed necessary for the ensuing year, viz:
For alteration and repair of Artillery,
For erecting a magazine, shed and fences at
lot, in addition to the unexpended balance, 1,200 00 For the erection of a gun house in Orland, For the erection of a gun house in Limerick, For the purchase of books of instruction for
the use of officers of the Militia, The Arsenal at Bangor having been so far completed as to answer for use, I have caused a portion of the military property to be placed therein. I have several times
visited the Arsenals at Portland, Bangor and Bath, and find that proper care has been taken of the public property. The present and late military store-keepers at Portland have faithfully performed all the service required of them, and the keeper of the Bangor Arsenal has faithfully discharged his duty. An inventory of all the military property of the State is annexed to this report.
The amount of the State's proportion of the annual appropriation by Congress for arming the Militia, under the Act of 1808, for the years 1837 and 1838, is twelve thousand and seventy eight dollars. This amount, together with the sum of five thousand eight hundred and sixty nine dollars of the State's proportion for the year 1839, I have received from the War Department of the United States by your order, in brass six pounder field artillery, with their carriages and apparatus complete; being in value seventeen thousand nine hundred and forty seven dollars.
The field tents which had been delivered to the volunteer companies, under Resolve of the Legislature of 1836, were called in by general orders of February 21, 1839, and they were in most cases returned. A small number have been lost, or are not accounted for.
There is, in many parts of the State, much dissatisfaction with the present Militia Law. There can be no doubt that the present laws are not in accordance with public sentiment, and it is a subject of deep regret that Congress has not made such changes in the general Militia Laws, as the present condition of the country and popular opinion seem to demand. It has generally been supposed that the State could do nothing materially to improve the Militia system, until the National Government should have made a thorough revision of the laws, and adopted such alterations
as are required by the condition of society at the present time. Although action by Congress is highly desirable, and demanded by the public voice from almost every quarter, yet the difficulties in arranging a system which will meet the approbation of the public or of a majority in our National Legislature, are so great, it is perhaps not to be expected that anything effectual will soon be done to improve our present militia laws by the general government, although a strong appeal is annually made to Congress by the President and Secretary of War, as well as by many of the States through their Legislatures or Executive. But I am of opinion that our State could do much to equalize the burden, as well as to improve the system, even under the present laws of Congress.
The objections to the present system are generally, as I apprehend, that too large a portion of the citizens are enrolled, and that those of whom military service is required, are not remunerated for the expense to which they are liable in arming themselves, and for their time devoted to the public in the performance of military duty. These were the objections brought against the present laws by the members of a respectable Military Convention which assembled at the Capitol in June last, and in which I fully concur. I believe the public generally are satisfied, that it is not necessary to enrol, arm, and instruct in military knowledge, so great a portion of our population as is embraced between the ages of eighteen and fortyfive; and although a State may not have a right to alter the law with regard to the enrolment, yet she can excuse from arming and exempt from the performance of military duty, such portion of her citizens as she may deem proper. If, therefore, the Legislature should exempt all under the age of twenty-one years, and all over the age of thirty,
the objection that too great a number are required to do military duty would be obviated. The number which would remain subject to the performance of duty would probably be amply sufficient for every purpose for which we should ever want a military force, and the duty would then be performed by a class of men better qualified for the service, and a class who generally have more taste or inclination for a military life than any other. This course would relieve all minors, (or their parents or masters) from the expense of arming themselves, and from the expenditure of time in the performance of duty. In case this class of our population should not be sufficiently numerous to answer the demand for military service, which could never happen except in time of war, those above the age of thirty could be called to the field, and as they would have been instructed until they arrived to the age of thirty, they would be every way qualified to discharge the duty of soldiers, although exempt from the performance of such service at parades and meetings for instruction after they arrived to that age. I have before suggested this in my annual communications to the Executive, and it was also mentioned by the intelligent officer who held the situation of Adjutant General the last year. Should the Legislature adopt this course, and in addition, encourage volunteer companies by accepting seven years duty of members of such corps, at any period after they arrive at the age of eighteen years, I am convinced that the objection as to the number of whom military duty is required in time of peace, would be obviated in such manner as to give general satisfaction.
With regard to the compensation for the expense of arming and for time devoted to military duty, great diversity of opinion exists. Many object to any remuneration
being made to the soldier, on the ground that all have hitherto performed the service, and to make the burden equal, all should hereafter do the same. This to my mind is not just to those who are now required to perform military duty. If duty has been required of persons enrolled in the militia in former times, without allowing them an equivalent, it does not, as it appears to me, afford sufficient reason to adopt or continue a like injustice to those of whom service is now required. The principle that the expense of government ought to be paid by the eitizens equally in proportion to their several ability, should, as it strikes my mind, extend to the preparation for military protection, as well as to any other service. But those who contend that the expense attending our militia should be remunerated by the State, differ as to the manner in which it shall be paid. Many are of opinion that the arms should be furnished appears to me this is not the best way. be furnished at the public expense, the probability is that in a very short time they would be rendered useless from want of proper care, as it is usual for people to pay less regard to property furnished in that way than to that purchased by themselves. Again, those enrolled in the militia, many of them, are frequently changing their residence from one part of the State to another, and some, Leave the State every year. Some are leaving the ranks from their age, and others are arriving at the period to be enrolled. The constant change, and the rapid depreciation in the value of the arms, from the causes stated, would, in my opinion, render it much more expensive to arm the militia at the public charge, than it would be for each person to furnish himself. It has been suggested, that by having an arsenal for each Company in which to
by the State. It Should the arms